A Time to Practice Joy

Most things in life take practice. If you want to be a better golfer, you practice. If you want to be a better musician, you practice. In short, if you want to get better at anything in life, it just takes a little practice.

So, while it may sound a little strange, the fact is if you want to live a more joyful life, you have to practice. So, how do you practice joy?

First, let’s get our definitions straight. Joy and happiness aren’t the same things. Happiness is momentary. It’s the reaction we have when something good happens to us. If someone gives me an Oreo cookie, I’m happy. When the cookie is gone, so is my happiness.

Joy stays with you no matter what. Joy is knowing the hero is going to win at the end of the movie even though it doesn’t look like it at first. This is why Christ-followers are joyful. We know how the story ends.

Christmas is a great time to practice joy. During the holiday season, we can break routines and do things we normally wouldn’t do for no other reason than the fact that it’s Christmas. Ask yourself this question: if I were certain Jesus would win in the end, how would I live now?

Then, live that way now.
Give without the thought of getting back.
Forgive without being asked.
Love even when love isn’t returned.
Worship even though it’s not Sunday.
Grab hold of joy.

Sure, it takes a little practice, but that’s the great thing about Christmas—it gives us the chance to practice joy. Who knows, if we practice joy long enough we may end up being good at it. We may get so good living in the joy of Christ we can live this way all year long.